Q: What is the role of a sports medicine physician? Do they only treat “athletes,” or do they also see patients who engage in sport for recreation?
A: Sports medicine specialists play a pivotal role in evaluating and treating the acute injury of an athlete—which includes anyone who participates in sports for recreation! We see a range of patients, from T-ball players and ultimate Frisbee players to professional soccer players and everyone in between. The important thing by far is just to keep moving. While some activities require counsel and advice, in general, if you’re not hurting, don’t stop exercising.
As sports medicine experts, we help educate schools, coaches, sports teams, athletes, and the community as a whole on subjects such as injury prevention, overuse injuries, skeletal development in preparation for youth sports, and the risks involved in sports participation.
Most importantly, we’re there if you get hurt! Often the earlier we can help diagnose your injury, the faster you can get better. We can help young kids maintain their enthusiasm for sports when they get hurt, and with athletes in high school and beyond, we work to help them maintain their skills and abilities in the context of an injury, such as a stress fracture, ACL tear, or shoulder dislocation. Along with your coach, parents, and athletic trainer, your sports medicine doctor is there to provide you with the support you need to remain at your best.
Gregory Duff, MD, FAAOS, is board certified in orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine, and practices at WestSound Orthopaedics in Silverdale. Dr. Duff is the team physician for the Kitsap Pumas, Kitsap BlueJackets, Klahowya Secondary School, and West Sound Warriors, and also works with Olympic College and other area high schools.